New Mexico senator’s request for jury trial in DWI rejected

New Mexico

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico judge has rejected state Sen. Richard Martinez’s request for a jury trial in a drunken driving case clearing the way for a trial scheduled to begin later this month.

The Albuquerque Journal reported Thursday that the Democratic senator was charged with aggravated DWI and reckless driving, both of which carry maximum 90-day penalties.

Judge Francis Mathew says the court system has limited resources and criminal defendants in New Mexico can only seek jury trials if they face a potential sentence of more than six months in prison.

Martinez pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from the June 28 car crash in Espanola.

The trial is set to begin Nov. 18.

Martinez says he does not plan to resign from the Legislature, even if he’s convicted.

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Information from: Albuquerque Journal, http://www.abqjournal.com

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